Bitmaker Life Update: Apologies for the vacant blog

Sorry for not posting since week three. It has been a mental marathon. My tweets, blog posts, and life in general have been cut down to maximize my learning over the last 10 weeks (ten because the Bitmaker week off provided an great chance to catch up and prepare for Rails).

Every day I’ve woken up and been excited for lecture to see what new skills we would gain. Some days have been a tougher grind than others. I’d equate the feeling of these days to being lost in the woods without a flashlight. Ramen dinners and late night sessions have become routine, but it has been an adventure. I’ve never ran a marathon or climbed a tall mountain, but I have to think there are some similarities in the mental mindset that is required during these activities of mental endurance. On days where you grasp concepts and make good procress, it feels like you’ve leveled up in an RPG or something. Ahhh, the new found hit points and tools you now have!

I’m excited to continue working on my skills. Whether or not I get a position during interview week, I’m stoked to see where I’m at in one month and three months. Analogy wise, I feel I’ve finally learned how to fish when it comes to programming, and the web has all the resources I need to extract the skills applicable to become a dev.

Next post: A summary of our Bitmaker Final Project!

Canadian Government just shut down my rails bootcamp.

I assumed it was going to be a plea to keep the space more tidy. Or maybe we weren’t working hard enough. As all the instructors lined up at the front of the room, I realized this was more important. Once Matt finished speaking, the class fell under shock. Bitmaker Labs (9 week intensive rails course similar to Dev Bootcamp) has been forced to cease operations as of this Monday.

I’ve always had trouble explaining Bitmaker Labs to anyone not in the tech “let’s accelerate education” discussion. I’ll normally say it’s a full time trade school, kind of like one an electrician or plumber would attend, which usually gives folks a vague understanding of what I’m doing. Definitely too vague though, as I was pulled over at the Canadian Border for this unknown “course” I was attending. Luckily I made my flight from Vancouver to Toronto, where I’ve received the most robust education of my life thus far.


Above: Students studying on their own.

If all goes well, Bitmaker Labs will be up and running in the coming week or two.  The team’s objective right now is to register as a private career college on an expedited basis. Will we have a chance to finish the remaining ⅔ of our course? That is yet to be known. Best case, we’ll get to learn ruby on rails starting next week. Worst case, we will have been the last dev course to live in Canada, until it went the way of the dino due to an education technicality meteorite.

I saw a man in a Canadian Uniform walk by around lunch time today. Must have been the inspector from the MTCU checking up and making sure class isn’t in session. I’m sorry officer, but I will be continuing my education with or without your stamp of approval with my friend Stack Overflow. I may even plan on collaborating with existing students to continue our learning. Throw us in jail for our rebellious behavior. We’re education outlaws causing a ruckus as we build our skills with each commit we push to Github.

Bitmaker Blog: Week 1

And so it begins. Anxious and excited describe my feelings as I struggled to fall asleep the night before the summer Bitmaker Labs Cohort started on June 3rd, 2013.

Beginning a dedicated 9 weeks with aspiring developers is motivating. The eve of our first day, I met with four fellow students, which was great to discuss everything stirring in our minds.

On the 1st day we learned how to use unix, git, github, and how to utilize these tools to collaborate with others. For our group assignment. One person would clone the assigned Bitmaker repository and the rest would clone that user’s repo, updates to the file, then commit and push. It was important at the end for each team member to clone the repo to their own individual github account, which required the use of git clone.

Utlizing git remote -v was important to make sure, when pushing our new repo up, that we were properly pushing to our desired repo.

During certain periods of the day, I felt I had a strong grasp of the material, but at the same time, there were times were I felt lost and unprepared for the course. 



The Little Hash Key that Could Answer and Solution – Rubeque

I found this question simple to understand, but difficult in finding how to display the “key” for the min “value”.

def key_for_min_value(hash)
hash.key (hash.values.min_by {|a| a})

This code finds the min value, and avoids using a sort_by loop by placing the values method within the hash.key. This allows the key to be printed, while allowing values.min_by to target the smallest value. – Helpful in learning the very basics of hashes.

Headed to Toronto. Going to dev school.

Apologies for not updating for awhile. It’s been a busy last six months for me debating what skills I want to gain, where I want to work, and what continent I should reside on.

I’ve been accepted into Toronto’s dev bootcamp, Bitmaker Labs, and will be leaving Sydney for Seattle then Toronto in late May. I’ve realized I’ll regret not giving web development a full go since I’ve never been able to help ramp up a product as a non-technical member of a team.

Many of my thoughts the last six months have revolved around my next professional step. This in turn led to me realizing I’ve enjoyed my time working at tech startups before arriving Sydney. Although I’ve never been technical, contributing to the non-tech end has still provided me satisfaction to these teams.

When I look back though, I’ve had many opportunities to learn how to code. From our college startup Weutt I invested 2 years of college for, to working at Retronyms and Grubwithus, I’ve been able to provide marketing, user acquisition, and pitching value, but never anything on the technical side.

Some may say I should stick to my strengths and experiences, which I feel is a valid point, but in today’s technically evolving world, I believe having a base knowledge of how to code is like being able to read and write. It’s tough to understand the feasibility of product ideas, contribute during the development phase, and have empathy for the tough dev work unless you’ve experiencing it with everyone.

My long-term goal may not be to be the best programmer in the world (don’t know yet until I go through the course). I’ve realized I enjoy the project management side of technology, which this course would allow me to do with my non-technical experience in this space.

I’m 24 years old, which is a great age to be. It’s a time where you can invest in yourself and reap the benefits down the line. This is exactly what I plan to do. So if I don’t post between June and August, know that it’s because I’m working hard to gain the skills of a web developer.

A young, business minded entrepreneur with has gained relevant experience on the non-technical end. On top of that, he’s a full stack web developer. That’s what I’m working toward.

If you have any tips or thoughts on becoming a dev, let me know! @drew_sing.


Applied to Startmate and Incubate Sydney University

This month, we decided to apply to two incubator programs here in Sydney: Startmate and Incubate Sydney University of Sydney Union. A lot of progress has been made the last few months in terms of our team, which is the main reason I’m so excited.

Adam, Mitch, and I have been the core team, but we’ve picked up two key pieces it looks like. Keith Broughton, a backend wizard, and Mia Price, an essential piece for helping us create university events.
There’s something about piecing together a group of people for a common goal that I love. It’s the same feeling as drafting the perfect fantasy football team, or getting the puzzle pieces to fit to bring together the cliché windmill in the forest with colorful flowers dotting the creek.
We’re a long way from finishing the puzzle, but it’s awesome to have the right pieces in the right spots that, with time, can hopefully fit like a grove.

Ideas are important, but I’m a true believer that your team is your strongest (or weakest asset). Ideas are a dime a dozen, but execution is what separates the talkers from the ones who do.

Recess Vibe organizes hassle-free social experiences for students and young professionals. From group dinners to nightlife events, we believe nights out shouldn’t be restricted to the weekends. We believe travelling is about the people you’re with, not just the places you go, which is why we organize day trips and even full-fledged group vacations for our members. As people who enjoy a good time ourselves, our goal is to provide the best experiences ever for 18-25’s.

Recess Vibe utilizes a social booking platform for group events that give members visibility to others who have booked. There’s no planning, coordinating with friends, or extra hassles that come with getting your friends together. Just book online and you’re good to go.